D-backs’ Bumgarner strikes out 7, gives up 6 ER in 3rd spring start
Mar 26, 2021, 5:10 PM
(AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – On another unseasonably cold spring day that most certainly continued to disappoint visiting fans from around the country, Madison Bumgarner took the mound for the Arizona Diamondbacks in a 7-3 loss to the Cincinnati Reds at Salt River Fields on Friday.
In only his third official start of Cactus League play, Bumgarner continued to prove how effective he can be at striking batters out despite his velocity only hitting 89-90 mph in this outing with his fastball. But he also showed how costly allowing walks can be.
“I feel ready for the season,” said Bumgarner after the start. “I was glad to get up and down six times. I made some pretty good pitches today, so yeah I feel pretty good about it.”
“I just tried to make pitches and mix it up and use both sides of the plate. Everything that I could want to cover, namely getting up and down six times. Being ready for the regular season was the main goal. And being able to do that and feel pretty strong throughout that time,” he added.
Bumgarner had a hectic first inning that began with an 0-1 leadoff dinger from Reds left fielder Jesse Winker. However, he then settled in and proceeded to strike out the next three batters to end the inning.
MadBum had a clean inning in the second but he walked second baseman Jonathan India to start the third, who moved to second on a bunt by former D-back and Reds starting pitcher Wade Miley.
India then stole third base and scored on a Winker groundout to give the Reds their second run. The walk was the first Bumgarner has allowed this spring, but it wasn’t the last.
Bumgarner walked first baseman Joey Votto and shortstop Eugenio Suarez to lead off the fourth inning as he struggled to locate the strike zone with his 89-mph fastball and his mid-80’s cutter.
Votto later scored on a double with Suarez scoring on a sac fly. All three batters Bumgarner walked in this outing scored. India struck again with an RBI double of his own in the inning to give the Reds a four-run lead.
“I thought Bum was very efficient in certain spots,” said Torey Lovullo postgame.
“He settled in and he attacked the zone and he was working through a couple of things and a couple of thoughts that he was having the led me to think he is continuing to get a feel for the strike zone and how to make quality pitches throughout the entire at-bat.”
Bumgarner allowed four hits and six earned runs in 5.1 innings of work with seven strikeouts and three walks.
“He’s been throwing the ball well for us. The numbers maybe didn’t show up the way we wanted them to, but I thought overall he threw the ball well today and that’s been pretty much the way I’ve felt the entire spring,” added Lovullo.
Lovullo said he would be naming his Opening Day starter on Sunday, with Bumgarner being a likely candidate.
The D-backs infield continues to do work offensively.
First baseman Christian Walker, who is still tied for first in all of spring training for RBIs, went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles. Walker is hitting .333 this spring and has been one of Arizona’s most consistent batters.
Third baseman Eduardo Escobar hit a solo home run in the third inning, his third of spring training, and shortstop Josh Rojas added a 2-run tater in the seventh inning for the team’s only runs.
Rojas has reached base safely in 18 of his last 20 games and ranks first among all qualified batters in hits with 22.
Second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera remains locked in, doubling in the sixth and extending his hit streak to nine games. He was 1-of-3 in the loss.
The D-backs are off on Saturday as they prepare for their final stretch of Cactus League games leading up to Opening Day.
Arizona will take on the Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Cubs at their spring facilities before heading home to Chase Field for one final exhibition game against the Cleveland Indians. The starting pitchers for those games are still to be determined.